Tag Archives: birds

Flock me


No birds were harmed in the creation of this blog post.

Several birds tried to take me down, though, on my flight from Detroit to Lexington.

They filled the plane…so we had to wait over an hour while the unwelcome fliers were removed and the plane was disinfected.

It was a crappy situation, no doubt.

When we re-boarded, the pilot discovered the plane had a broken wing, so we had to change equipment altogether.

Clearly the airplane was on the birds’ side.

Taking to the skies

I stole this image from my cousin’s Facebook page.


She was encouraging her children not to feel the need to follow what everyone else is doing — to strike out on their own.

I couldn’t agree more.

But here’s another thing to keep in mind — not only do we see the lone bird first, it’s far easier to take a shot at him.  So if you take a different route, be prepared to defend your choice.

(Don’t worry — it’s totally worth it.)

Flight of fancy

Rory and I had company on our walk today.

And it wasn’t the first time, either.

We were meandering down one of our usual paths in Central Park when, about halfway down, I saw a sparrow waiting.

He turned when I drew near and hopped forward slowing, as if escorting us up the lane.  At a break in the fencing, he hopped through and flew upward to a nearby tree branch.

Standard bird behavior, right?

Except this is the third time that a sparrow has met us halfway down that path.  The third time he’s turned and led us forward.  The third time we’ve parted company at that same break in the fence.

Is he trying to tell me something?  Trying to get me to go to that tree?  To see something in or near it?  You’d think at very least he would chirp loudly to signal the alarm.

Hasn’t he ever watched Lassie?

Bird brain

If you’re looking for the first robins of spring where you live…

They’re all in Central Park.

I noticed a large gathering of robins on the Great Lawn when I was walking Rory this morning.  They were spaced out in an almost geometric pattern, standing very still.

It looked much like the start of some sci-fi films, just before the aliens land…or creatures burst through the earth after being buried in pods for centuries.

Perhaps they were exhibiting the bird behavior that mathematician John Nash studied as a student at Princeton, which was dramatized in the movie A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe.

Of course, there is one other reason the birds could have been standing there on the Great Lawn in the early morning —




Birds part deux

Four hundred years ago — okay, more like 12 — I attended a writing conference at Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod.

One of our assignments was to come up with a new scenario for a movie using only the items found in our hotel room as inspiration.

Now, my hotel was rather rustic (translation: cheap).  The wallpaper had tiny geese flying in vee’s across a yellow, late evening sky.  It was ugly, but I used it.

My idea:   What if two birdwatchers — one a noted expert, the other a novice — accidentally kill a rare bird that they are admiring?  Horrified, they try to cover up the accident in a variety of ways, all of which go terribly awry.

Hilarity ensues.

I pictured Dudley Moore as the lead. (It was 12 years ago.)  I thought it was a pretty funny idea, but maybe too niche-y for Hollywood.

I mean, who would do a movie about birdwatching?

Fast-forward to 2011.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are starring in the new movie The Big Year.  Take a look at the trailer:

What you can’t really tell from this clip is that these three men are avid birdwatchers…competing at a prestigious birdwatching event!

See?  Someone actually made a film about birdwatching, and even they think it’s too niche-y to use in the marketing.

I was so ahead of my time.

Fly away home

Here’s one for the birds.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed MISSING posters on 81st Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park.  When I got a closer look, I learned the ‘missing’ in question were a pair of cockatiels.

My first thought was — how did they get out?  Did they escape through an open window that didn’t have a screen?  Or through a door when a delivery was being made?

My second thought was that lost birds would be really hard to find.  It’s not like they have to stay at street level where they can be easily seen.

I felt bad for the owners, too…but I admired their determination to get their birds back.  Then the signs came down, and it kinda slipped my mind.

Yesterday Rory and I stopped to chat with one of the doormen on 81st Street.  A gentlemen I had never met before stopped to pet Rory.  Guess who he was?

The owner of the two cockatiels

Amazingly, both birds were found — 15 blocks from home — by a worker in Central Park who had seen the flyer. They had survived outside for a week, on their own, during Tropical Storm Irene.

I asked the owner how the birds got out.  My theories weren’t even close.  His partner was walking down the street with the birds in a carrier.  They weren’t happy about it, forced the door open and bolted.

I’ll bet home looks a lot better now.